A conspicuous absence in last year's poll, Sankeys MCR is back where it belongs after re-opening its doors, after taking six months out towards the end of 2013. Since, the grubby old soap factory with booming sound and a cheerful crowd in the Northern Quarter has continued to do what it does best, bringing top-quality dance music to Manchester, since first opening its doors as Sankeys Soap all of 20 years ago. Tribal Sessions has re-emerged under the auspices of Darius Syrossian, while Music Is Love, with its associated label, has sought to attract only house and techno to the city.
Upstairs Spektrum, and its Watergate-inspired LED panelled ceiling, is as carefree as they get and Sankeys' notorious basement, with its overhead fluoro-strips and Phazon soundsystem, is still one of the UK's best loved rooms, by clubbers and DJs alike. Just ask Sante. “I totally love the vibe in the basement. The combination of that big soundsystem with a real energetic crowd is always a winner,” he says.
In a town where The Warehouse Project is flexing its muscles, Sankeys MCR has, thankfully, maintained a far more personal touch.